Skiing is actually very safe, if you're thinking while you do it.
—Patrick Allen, Bemus Point, N.Y.
Thank you, Rick Reilly, for not following the rest of the media and turning skiing into a "death sport" because two celebrities made poor decisions (POINT AFTER, Jan. 19). Skiing is a wonderful sport. If you respect the mountain and understand your limits, it can be not only safe but also one of the most beautiful sports in the world.
Bill Gray, Westminster, Colo.
As Reilly asserts, skiing remains a relatively safe sport. Nevertheless, it is clear that Reilly has never experienced the deep pain of losing someone in a skiing accident. If he had, he never would have written such an insensitive essay. To belittle the recently departed for their "stupid" actions is a slap in the face to those who mourn their loss.
Andrew Morris, New Haven, Conn.
Your article about lively baseball bats hit home (SCORECARD, Jan. 12). Last June my 12-year-old son was struck in the head by a batted ball as he was pitching. It fractured his skull and caused an epidural hemorrhage that required surgery.
The NCAA may or may not have a serious problem, but Little League and other youth leagues certainly do. The pitcher is standing only 46 feet from home plate. He's pitching to 12-year-old players, some of whom are near adult size. Is this a death waiting to happen? You bet it is.
Austin G. Smith, Berlin, Conn.
Beyond the safety comparison of aluminum and wooden bats, we need to consider the athletes of today, pitchers throwing harder than ever and hitters generating greater bat speed. If bat performance isn't going to be regulated, raising the mound to 14 inches and/or enforcing the strike zone would be protective steps that would cost nothing.
Merrill D. Wilson, Ocala, Fla.
After reading about myself in SI (CATCHING UP WITH..., Jan. 12), I felt the need to add that I would not trade my days of playing for the New York Jets for anything. The friendships I made then made me a more complete person. My current job with Bear Stearns would not have been obtainable without my football recognition.
The 1982 AFC Championship Game was my biggest disappointment in New York. I let the Jets down by throwing five interceptions. But this is 1998. I was traded in '83, and the Jets have not been back to the AFC championship since.
I did mention to SI that the best job in pro sports is a backup quarterback, but I don't remember saying that I wanted to be one, although I was one for a year in New Orleans.
Richard Todd, Atlanta
I agree with writer Kostya Kennedy that slashing has to be dealt with—it is a dangerous act that is harming the players as well as the game (INSIDE THE NHL, Jan. 12). Another rule that should be enforced is hooking. It is nearly impossible to see a player drive for the net, with or without the puck, and not have a defender cling to him. Once the NHL cracks down on hooking, scoring will boom.
Jono Marcheterre, Kanata, Ont.